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Grace Weekly | Oct 2, 2014

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Scripture for the day: I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.” Psalm 52:8b-9

Grace Received: God can be trusted. No matter what. His love never fails. Ever. Not sure what you may find yourself facing as you read this today but I want to encourage you. His grace is enough. His character is unfailing. He is good. Always.  In the words of a Matt Redman song we sing at Grace: “From the creation to the cross, there from the cross into eternity, Your grace finds me, your grace finds me.” His grace finds YOU today.
This week Pastor Bailey announced that she will be moving to California at the end of October. Her last Sunday at Grace will be Oct. 26th.  I am grateful for the spirit in which she has led us in worship during her time at Grace and I’m sure you are as well.  Take time in the next few weeks to tell her.   We are developing a plan for the interim and will be seeking God’s direction for the next person He has in mind to be a part of our pastoral team here. Your prayers for that will be appreciated as well.
Grace Shared:  Bill and Debbie Blackwell are retired.  Brian and LeJane Eagle are a young military couple. Over the course of the last year or so, these two couples have become like family and it has brought a lot of life and joy to all of them. They typically sit one row from each other on Sunday mornings but they’ve taken the time outside of Sunday to get to know each other, develop a true friendship, invest in each other’s lives.  I love hearing the Eagles talk about the Blackwells and hearing the Blackwells talk about the Eagles. They love each other. They pray for each other. The shared grace together.  My desire is for every person at Grace Nazarene to have relationships like that. It takes intentionality, and time to have significant relationships but it is well worth the effort. To have a friend we have to be a friend and that requires something of us. If you don’t have that kind of relationship with anyone, strike up a conversation with the people who sit near youthis Sunday. Come to a Sunday School class this week. Contact Joe Voight joevoight@phoenixoftn.com and join a home-based Grace Shared group. You’ll be glad you did!
As Nazarenes, we belong to a world-wide family. 159 world areas. Well over 2 million members. Over 100 educational institutions. It’s pretty amazing.  Yesterday our Board of General Superintendents announced with heavy hearts that as ofDec. 1, 2014 Nazarene Publishing House will cease operations. While a strategic team is meeting to seek God and envision a new day and new way for the cost-effective production of holiness materials that will continue to resource the church, we need to pray for our leaders and especially for those whose jobs will no longer exist on Dec. 1.  When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer with it. We are a people of resurrection so it is not just with sorrow, but optimism that we pray for the situation at NPH.
Grace Extended: I’ve been in Kansas City this week for a preaching conference at Nazarene Theological Seminary, the inauguration of new NTS President, Dr. Carla Sundberg, and for NTS board of trustees meetings. It’s been a great week! Last night I got to visit with my parents who live not far from the seminary and I was greatly encouraged. My dad turned 75 last week. My mom is 74. They spent theirWednesday afternoon at a local middle school volunteering at an after school program.  They told me about the kids they’ve met and seen every Wednesdaysince the program started several weeks ago. While they don’t have the energy they once did, they are extending God’s grace by investing in some kids. It was evident that they are having a blast doing it.
Whether we are 7, 15, 35 or 75 there are opportunities to extend the grace of God by serving others. It’s the basin and towel way of life to which ALL of us have been called. Jesus exercised His power by  taking on the very form of a servant (slave). He calls all of us to do the same. Who have you served today?

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